Hierarchical control of dc microgrids with constant power loads
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This dissertation proposes general methodologies for designing hierarchical control schemes for dc microgrids loaded by constant power loads (CPLs). CPLs form a major proportion of the system loads in many microgrids. Without proper control, CPLs present destabilizing effect at the dc microgrid. In addition to stable operation of microgrid, proper current sharing among paralleled sources is essential. The proposed hierarchical control strategy consists of two control levels. The lower level consists of droop-based primary controllers which enables current-sharing among paralleled sources and also damps limit cycle oscillations due to CPLs. The higher level consists of secondary controller which compensates for voltage deviations due to primary controller. This higher level is implemented either as autonomous controllers or as a centralized controller. In the case of autonomous secondary controllers, they operate alongside of primary controllers in each of the paralleled converters. In the case of centralized secondary controller, a remote secondary controller uses a high speed communication link to communicate to local controllers. Interfacing sources with different characteristics and voltage ranges necessitates the use of complex converter topologies. As an initial step towards implementing hierarchical control scheme for such microgrids with CPLs, a linear controller is proposed for dc microgrids with standalone SEPIC, Cuk and Zeta converters. During the first stage of the two stage controller, limit cycle oscillations are damped by inserting a virtual resistance in series with the converter input inductor. During the second stage, an integral controller is added to the first stage to compensate for voltage deviations. For microgrids containing different converter topologies, stability of equilibrium points is examined and stability conditions are derived and explained. Experiments performed on a prototype microgrid are used to verify the proposed control laws. Expanding study on stability of microgrids, the maximum real power load in a dc microgrid bus is traced geometrically. The generalized circle diagram approach used in a conventional power system is modified for this purpose. The different types of buses present in a dc microgrid are described and the locus of operating points is obtained. The proposed method is verified by simulations on an example dc microgrid.